Dead ends and back alleys

Just a short one today as I'm in the midst of a massive trawl through several decades' worth of census enumerators returns. I'm writing this from my local library, from where I can work on their computers (for free) (albeit in Internet Explorer) and use Ancestry.com (for free). I'm very lucky to be funded out …

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Camping, privies, and mapping the everyday

At the age of 33, I recently had my first proper experience of camping (my subconscious has all but blocked the ramshackle Cub camps of my youth, although a few excursions in a refurbished caravan a couple of years ago helped). It was quite lovely, and afforded much opportunity for reading - I dipped between Lefebvre …

Space to think

GIS is increasingly being seen as much as a place to think as a simple data management and mapping tool Gillings & Goodrick (1996) "Sensuous and reflexive GIS: exploring visualisation and VRML"  I'm very grateful to have been allowed to sit in on a GIS course this semester with students from the Archaeology department. Whilst the material is …

1966

I'm a sucker for an old map, which explains why I couldn't walk past a 1966 road atlas in a Stourbridge charity shop at the weekend. It's a beautiful thing, far prettier than the great big, flimsy things that you get nowadays (or a squat, grey satnav box for that matter), all bound in tan …

Almost here…

It's finally getting close to time for me to actually start my PhD. As I mention here, I originally set this blog up as a place to organise my thoughts for writing my thesis proposal, and we're just about swinging round to a start date now. See below for thoughts on giving up paid employment: So I'll be …

Heath Town

I've submitted a first draft of my proposal! Turns out that this blog was certainly a help initially, but was the first casualty when it turned out I had actual work to do. Now for a bit of a breather though, maybe I can catch up. My next project, mentioned previously, is Block Capital, for …

Block Capital

I'm very cheerful to be involved with the new Block Capital project that the Distinctly Black Country network are running. It's great to be getting back into doing some actual social research, and this ties in with my academic interest in Wolverhampton and the Black Country, and my personal interest in the rise and fall …

Wolverhampton Ring Road

Thinking of ring roads led me to neatly to Wolverhampton's own ring road. Wolverhampton, perhaps even more so than Birmingham, is a town built around roads: as a medieval market town it received traffic on substantial roads from Bridgnorth, Stafford, Cannock, Bilston, Dudley and Kidderminster, ending up by the time of Isaac Taylor's town plan of …